Why Alternative Proteins?
A Better Plate for a Better World
The increasing availability of alternative proteins is a boon to the animal advocacy movement. An appealing variety of nutritious protein options derived from non-animal sources decreases the demand for conventional meat, eggs, and dairy products, thereby alleviating the suffering of animals. Technology and animal advocacy encourage mutual growth and success; greater human sensitivity to animal welfare generates more innovation. More advanced technology spells less harm to animals.
Sustainable Proteins: Maximum Food Security, Minimum Harm
The world’s growing population – expected to exceed 9-10 billion by 2050 – together with the increasing per capita appetite for animal-derived protein place an untenable burden on finite, diminishing land and water resources. The rapidly developing alternative protein sector, projected to reach more than $27 billion within the coming six years, helps ensure global food security even as climate change jeopardizes traditional food sources.
Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
The meat, dairy and egg industries leave a carbon footprint amounting to 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing that of the entire global transportation industry. Livestock account for 40 percent of global methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide, which are respectively 23 times and 296 times more effective than carbon dioxide in trapping heat.
Alleviate World Hunger
Producing meat to feed the world’s population is an extremely inefficient use of limited resources. It takes 15 kilograms of grain to produce just one kilogram of meat. Similarly, the production of meat involves a profligate waste of water. For instance, 16,000 liters (4,220 gallons) of water are needed to create one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of meat, versus just 1,600 liters (422 gallons) of water required to grow the same quantity of wheat. “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” a 2006 UN report, estimates that one kilogram of cultured meat requires only 640 liters (169 gallons) of water. Redirected resources saved by switching to cultivated meat can help meet the nutritional needs of the world’s growing population.
The rise in global per capita meat consumption spurs greater competition in the increasingly lucrative meat market. Consumers therefore demand lower prices, driving meat suppliers to raise and slaughter more animals in less time. As farmers adopt cruel practices geared towards maximizing output, animal suffering grows.
Raising livestock involves vast land resources, totaling a staggering 33 percent of Earth’s land. Grazing fields replace forests. In addition, fields for the animals’ harvested food and waste disposal occupy immense tracts of land. According to an Oxford study, the production of cultured meat would require 99 percent less land, 80 percent less water and 45 percent less energy, compared to conventional meat.
Improve Our Food Safety
The meat industry is a major contributor to multiple deleterious public health phenomena including zoonotic diseases, obesity, and heart disease. Alternative proteins eliminate these risks and enable the production of flavorful options low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and without the growth hormones and antibiotics found in conventional meat.
Make a difference and enjoy a sense of purpose
The Modern Agriculture Foundation’s vital activity contributes to achieving several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals concerning food security and climate change. By supporting entrepreneurs rising to meet the challenges posed by the modern food system, MAF works to minimize hunger, to promote responsible consumption and production, and to reduce greenhouse gases fueling the climate crisis.
Embracing global partnerships and cooperation highlighted in the UN’s goals, MAF published Alternative Proteins IL 2021, an important magazine mapping the local ecosystem for global audiences, and assisted with the creation of Food Visionaries, a Swiss NGO promoting alternative proteins.
With more than 100 companies innovating protein solutions that capture the taste and texture of meat from animals, Israel is a world leader in the robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. MAF’s gaze is outward, looking to share Israel’s alternative protein advancements with the wider world.